Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ketchikan, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada



Ketchikan is an Alaskan city facing the Inside Passage and the state's southeastern-most major settlement.  It is known as Alaska's first city and the Salmon Capital of the World. (All photos in this post will enlarge if clicked on)



It is also a popular cruise route along the state's southeastern coast, as you can see from the number of cruise ships docked in its port when our cruise ship arrived.




As our ship dropped anchor in the bay and we waited to tender ashore, my first impressions of Ketchikan were a multitude of prop planes taking off and landing and many fishing boats navigating the waters.



We boarded the smaller tender ship and went to shore, where we picked up our excursion's tour bus.



Ketchikan is home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world, including some of the oldest ones in existence.  The historic part of town also has a multitude of colorful homes perched along the shore's cliff rocks, which have long wooden staircases leading up to their front doors.  If you'd like to learn more about the native cultures of Ketchikan and its history after colonists began setting here, there are some wonderful movies to watch on this link from the Ketchikan tourism web site.



My husband and I wanted our last excursion in Alaska to bring us into the Tongass National Forest, which covers most of southeast Alaska. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Coast Mountains and Canadian border on the east, the Tongass National Forest spans 500 miles of Southeast Alaska.  It is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world!  



We took a Ketchikan Rainforest Canoe and Nature Walk excursion.  A bus drove our group to Harriet Hunt Lake where we put on life jackets and maned a native style canoe. We rowed to the opposite lakeshore, enjoying the beautiful scenery.


There was a campsite located on the shore, where we were served a Native American style snack of smoked fish, clam chowder, bread rolls with wild berry jams and beverages.




Next, a guide led our group on a short nature walk in the rain forest, while highlighting the interesting vegetation and wildlife that lives there.




The lush forest floor was full of an amazing amount of thick greenery...



...so much large flora and fauna...




...and a canopy of large old-growth Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce trees.




The variety of mosses, lichen, and fungi in the rain forest were very interesting to see.





We were told that this fallen tree was now a "tree nursery" as seeds fell on its soft moss surface and began growing new trees, which will eventually anchor their roots in the ground as they grow.



Usnea Lichen, also known as "Old Man's Beard." was seen growing off many trees.




After our forest hike, we returned to the canoes and rowed back to the opposite shore and back to the bus.





Back on our cruise ship we again passed magnificent scenery as we sailed south to Vancouver.




There was a special treat offered to all at dinner--Baked Alaska Ice Cream!


Early the next morning our ship reached its final destination of Vancouver, Canada, where we disembarked for a bus ride to the airport. Someday we'd like to return to Vancouver and British Columbia, Canada, for a longer visit, but we had been away from home for almost two weeks and it was time to return to Colorado, as we missed our children and grandchildren!  



It's always a thrill to fly over Colorado and see the Rocky Mountains and the changing topography of our state. We were Home Sweet Home!  Thank you for following my blog all these weeks as I relived our Alaska Land and Sea Voyage that we took in June.  I'll now return to blogging about our adventures close to home.

For all Americans, I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Our family had much to be thankful for this year as my husband's cancer is in remission and our daughter recently had a successful emergency mitral valve repair surgery. We have been busy helping her in her recovery, but she is getting stronger every day and most likely by the new year she will return to normal activities. We are very grateful for the good medical care they both received and the prayers of many. Please continue to keep them in your prayers--thank you!


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37 comments:

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

A pleasure to read your post and see through your photos and words your explorations in the Ketchikan area.
Joy

Rosie said...

Thanks for the wonderful photos and commentary of Ketchikan. I would love to visit there and your photos have given me inspiration to make plans to go there.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

You take us on the most wonderful tours!! I’d never imagined there was a rain forest in Alaska and yet there is a magnificent one. What a treasure. I’d only imagined glaciers, ice flow and snow. Thank you again. As, always a wonderful post. Have a grand week!
,,

handmade by amalia said...

I'm so enjoying tagging along, Pat.
Amalia
xo

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

We have taken the Alaska cruise three times-- twice northbound and once southward, and loved it each time. So much more interesting when there is scenery on all sides besides jut open ocean. Would do it again! Your account brings back such fond memories.

Vee said...

I have very much enjoyed your Alaska trip. The photography is excellent and the collages are beautifully done. Your gratitudes are such big ones...praising God with you for good news on all fronts. Looking forward to hearing about your local adventures. A very blessed December to you and yours.

Jeanie said...

Some of those trees aer really remarkable, aren't they? And that fungi is so dramatic! Your holiday sounds wonderful. I must say, I've always wanted to give Vancouver a visit. Maybe someday.

Ruth Hiebert said...

I have totally loved these posts. Such incredible beauty.Thanks again for sharing. Praying that the coming year will bring good health to your family.

Linda W. said...

What a great shore excursion. I'd totally be in for paddling that canoe and hiking through the forest. Those woods remind me of our PNW forests.

Lydia C. Lee said...

Glad everyone's health is okay or improving! Lovely pics. You saw some beautiful landscapes!

Maggid said...

I want to walk through that rainforest

NCSue said...

Amazing photos - you had a wonderful experience, and I'm so glad you shared it at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/12/headed-to-philadelphia.html

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow Pat. Gorgeous scenery again and spectacular photos as usual. I'm so glad you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving with Vinny in remission and your daughter improving.

Angie said...

Pat - so glad that your husband's cancer is in remission and your daughter is recovering well from surgery. Blessings! You know I have been an avid fan of your posts about your Alaskan adventure, and so I am a little sad to see it come to an end! Your shots with the little boats, as well as all the flora, are the ones that appeal to me the most. I am sure the locals like the cruise ships for the money they bring, but I sometimes wonder how they feel to see those behemoths parked along the shore! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

Shiju Sugunan said...

Amazing scenes!

Lady Fi said...

Beautiful shots of your adventure. And so glad to hear your good news!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

So many beautiful views and sights - what an adventure!

Tamar SB said...

What a great last stop! Such a pretty town.

Mother of 3 said...

What an amazing trip you had! Such spectacular views.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

It must've felt particularly good to be in that forest. All that wonderful fresh oxygen at the source. :-)

ellen b. said...

A beautiful trip with so much grandeur to enjoy!

diane b said...

What a fabulous final post! Your excursion was a beauty. The forest just amazing and canoeing must have been a great experience there.I wouldn't like to walk up the wooden stairs with my groceries. The dessert dish looked scrumptious. We were lucky to have a wharf to disembark on but it was pouring rain when we were there.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Beautiful scenes and photos from Alaska. I love the totems. The canoe trip looks like fun, I think we did a nature hike in Ketchikan too. Wonderful post and trip! Wishing you a happy day!

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots!

William Kendall said...

Good news for your family on the medical front.

Beautiful shots!

Amanda @ Healthy Motivated Life said...

I love Ketchikan, and you have captured the area's beauty well! Thank you for sharing these lovely memories from your cruise!

betty-NZ said...

Wow, another terrific post with stunning scenery! I'm glad you shared your adventure with us over the weeks.

It's great to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

My Corner of the World

Powell River Books said...

You probably passed near our Powell River home in the dark to catch the tide through Seymour Narrows. - Margy

Reidland Family said...

What beautiful scenery. God has truly created a beautiful world for us to enjoy!

Small City Scenes said...

What beautiful country. Love it!!! My son-in-law grew up in Ketchikan. His family ran a fishing resort.
Super shots---showing the beauty of the area
MB

Light and Voices said...

What an amazing trip.

Michelle said...

This is such a beautiful town and area. Kind of reminds me of the movie, The Proposal, though I think that was in Sitka. Oh well! Thanks for linking up!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I can tell from your photos that you had a good time.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Funny seeing those cruise ships all lined up. I have really enjoyed your Alaska posts. It looks like such an amazing place and one I would like to visit some day!

Laura Quaglia (Fun With This and That) said...

Great trip want to do some day
Your picture where great
Any tips for the trip
HPS
Laura

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, sign me up for the walk in the woods. That is incredible.
I love your big canoe.

Lowcarb team member said...

Your trip to Alaska has been fantastic.
Your photographs here are wonderful to see.
I was pleased to read the good health news about your husband and daughter.

Have a blessed December.

All the best Jan